Everton sack Ronald Koeman: Following Arsenal loss

The former Southampton manager arrived to much fanfare at Goodison Park but leaves 16 months later after bringing an air of negativity to Merseyside.

Ronald Koeman became the third Premier League managerial casualty of the season on Monday when he was sacked by Everton.

The 54-year-old Dutchman — who guided Everton to seventh in his first season in charge last term — paid the price for a desperate start to the season despite having spent £140million in the close season.
Ronald Koeman never really ‘got’ Everton Football Club. A fine footballing appointment during the summer of 2016, the stoic Dutchman rarely gave much away during his time at Goodison Park, instead seemingly happy to use the club as a stepping stone on the path towards his dream job at Barcelona.

Only Jordan Pickford has truly lived up to the fanfare with which each new Everton signing was unveiled during the summer, and from ‘winning the transfer window’ in June it has quickly become clear quite how much of a mess both Koeman and Walsh made of improving a squad that was already brimming with potential.

Walsh arrived with a reputation of unearthing previously untapped talents and working with a manager to find a system where they could truly flourish. Quite why he and Koeman chose a different approach and instead opted for pricey, proven commodities only they know. Factor in that Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen all basically play the same position, and in hindsight their strategy was downright baffling.

The elephant in the room is the failure to sign a striker to adequately replace the goals scored by Romelu Lukaku. The Belgium international netted 25 goals for the Toffees during Koeman’s reign; no other player managed more than five, and therein lay the issue that Koeman will no doubt lean on when it comes to explaining his failure once the dust has settled.
What next for Everton? Sean Dyche is being reported as their primary target, though having succeeded with a system that relies on an outlet up front to relieve the pressure at Burnley, it would be remiss not to ask whether he would just encounter the same issues as Koeman. Everton’s squad is hugely unbalanced, and there is unlikely to be a quick fix for whomever steps into the hot seat next.

As for Koeman, that dream of Barcelona now seems set to remain just that. Whether the decisions of others ultimately cost him the exact squad he wanted, approaching football with a defeatist attitude was only going to end one way. Everton were beaten before they even kicked off in recent weeks, and for that Koeman must carry the can. 

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